The expertise of NIReS is being placed at the service of preparations for the Earth Summit of world leaders ('Rio+20'), to be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2012.
This has come about through NIReS’ close partnership with the Planet Earth Institute (PEI), which was established as a global organisation in the wake of the UNESCO ‘International Year of Planet Earth’ in 2009.
PEI is organising many of the global roundtables as a key element of the preparations for Rio+20.
In this capacity, Professor Younger has already been a featured speaker at the Global Sustainability Forum in Amazonas, Brazil, one of a number of conferences being held across the globe in the run up to Rio+20. Other speakers featured at the Global Sustainability Forum included former US President Bill Clinton, former Governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger and founder of the Virgin Group, Sir Richard Branson.
The PEI is also partnering with NIReS for scientific guidance on the further pursuit of this agenda, beginning in Africa and South America, in close association with the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development.
Further PEI partnerships are currently being established with NIReS scientific support in Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde and Brazil, involving government ministries, companies, universities and private contributors.
These Partnerships work to create conditions for dialogue and action among civilisations, cultures, communities and companies, based on mutual respect and shared values. The focus themes of the PEI correspond closely to those of NIReS, encompassing:
To mirror the round-table preparatory process for Rio+20, we held a series of events in November and December 2011 for staff and students across campus as well as secondary schools across the region.
These events were endorsed by the Planet Earth Institute, and the outcomes from the events will be taken forward into the formal Rio+20 preparatory process.